Summary: This is about coming to faith and its greatest obstacle. Was going to pull the one I wrote 3 years ago, but apparently people like it. So, I will leave it. Think this one is better though.

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Matthew 16:13-20

Paonia United Methodist Church

August 21, 2005

Ever had a job evaluation?

What goes through your mind when you walk in

To your annual evaluation?

I still get the same butterflies that I did

When I was 10 and mom and dad left for

Meet the creature night at elementary school.

What are they going to say about me?

How long am I going to be grounded when mom and dad come home?

That was the real question.

I wasn’t’ so much worried about what the teacher thought,

After all, it was my God given right and duty to torment them on a daily basis,

My concern was the consequences when my parents came home.

Now that I have had the chance to be on the receiving end of that recently,

I feel like going to see all my old teachers and apologizing to them.

But, the awkwardness of the annual evaluation is always there.

You never know what to expect when you open the door.

Will it be fair?

Will it be more about the evaluator than the evaluatee?

Even if evaluations have always been good,

That childhood sense of doom still is there when

You are waiting for the jury to return.

Thankfully, this is one more experience that Jesus had as well

so when we pray to him , he understands it at a personal level.

This morning, we get to listen in on his job evaluation

From the disciples.

Matthew 16:13-20

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,[a] the Son of the living God."

17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it.[d] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well, there is was…

The big interview.

The disciples had all seen the miracles, the feeding of the 5000, walking on water,

Healing the Caananite woman’s daughter, etc. etc. etc.

Well, what do you think?

Have you been paying attention?

Actually, he starts off easy on them.

He doesn’t just ask who am I…

But he asks, who do others say I am?

Have you ever noticed how people talk about themselves in the third person?

It is a lot easier to speak of yourself in the third person because

You do not have to own your own words.

Its one thing to say…

People really struggle with their faith.

Its something else to say…

I struggle with my faith.

The thing is, it usually means the same thing.

When Jesus asks, who do people say I am?

And he gets…

John the Baptist, Jeremiah, and Elijah as the answer,

You can just about bet that these were their answers.

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